Thursday, May 13, 2010

Charles Perrault's Moral

Illustrated by Gustave Dore

The moral to Charles Perrault's "Little Read Riding Hood"


Little girls, this seems to say,
Never stop upon your way.
Never trust a stranger-friend;
No one knows how it will end.
As you’re pretty, so be wise;
Wolves may lurk in every guise.
Handsome they may be, and kind,
Gay, or charming never mind!
Now, as then, ‘tis simple truth—
Sweetest tongue has sharpest tooth!

I first heard The Moral in the fantastic film COMPANY OF WOLVES and it was burned into my brain. The tale of the wolf and the little girl takes on several meanings, of course, but as a father the one that strikes me is the cautionary tale:

"Sweetest tongue has sharpest tooth!"

My daughter is extremely smart, however I still want her to keep this in mind if she happens to meet a sweet talking stranger.

Hell, I want my SON to keep it in mind as well. I know I do. :)

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